Spurred by the risks from roadside bombs and terrorist ambushes, the military is aggressively seeking to replace troops with battlefield robots, including new versions armed with machine guns.
“There was a time just a few years ago when we almost had to beg people to try an unmanned ground vehicle,” says Marine Col. Terry Griffin, manager of the Robotic Systems Joint Project Office in Huntsville, Ala. “We don’t have to beg anymore.”
Although the Pentagon initially focused on aircraft, such as the Predator drone, now new ground- and sea-based robots are being developed and tested, military records show. For example:
- The Mobile Detection Assessment Response System, an unmanned vehicle intended to patrol around domestic bases. The Army plans to start using it next year.
- Self-driving convoy trucks. Some variants follow preplanned routes or the vehicle in front. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has held a competition among advanced, satellite-guided versions that plan their own routes and maneuver around roadblocks. The Army is testing driverless versions of its Stryker armored personnel carrier.
- Robots that can enter a building, look for an enemy and send back a map of the interior are being tested for the Marine Corps.
Eventually, wars won’t be fought by humans anymore. Think about it… human soldiers are a major drag when it comes to fighting wars efficiently. Next to being error prone, they require:
- Long and expensive training.
- Food and drink supplies.
- Lots of time to rest.
- Lots of time and costly expenses to heal from injuries.
- Can share software instantly, meaning that if one robot knows how to fight war, all the others know how to fight war. Making a thousand copies is no harder than making one copy.
- Does not require food and drink supplies. By the time robots will be fighting our wars for us, they’ll probably be energy self sufficient using highly advanced solar panels.
- Does not need rest.
- Can be mass produced, easily repaired once damaged and easily replaced once destroyed.
War will basically turn into a game of chess, with humans as the players and robots as the pieces. Ofcourse, whoever has the best technology wins.